Grady Newsource Explains: Test-Optional Colleges

By Kristin Miller

Colleges across the country are eliminating the standardized test requirement for admissions. According to the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, over 800 schools now admit students who have the choice to submit an SAT or ACT score.

Ivy League schools and elite universities still require standardized test scores, but according to the New York Times, 46 percent of top-tier liberal arts colleges are now test-optional.

A 2014 study done at the University of Georgia researched what benefit test-optional schools offer students. The primary question was whether or not colleges enrolled more or less low-income students after employing the test-optional policy. A perceived objective of eliminating tests is also eliminating the disparity in students’ socioeconomic status; low-income students are not able to pay for tutoring and test preparation like wealthier students.

The study found that test-optional colleges did not increase educational opportunities for low-income students. However, the researchers noted that test-optional are perceived as more highly selective. Dismissing the standardized test requirement increases a school’s number of applications received, therefore forcing the school to deny a higher number of applicants.


By: Sam Lack

Paula Gonzalez, a senior at UGA, talks about the increase in diversity on campus. She moved to the United States with her family at the age of 6 and is studying international affairs and French.


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